I agree that Black and Hispanic children need to have the resources and support to be successful [“Maureen Weber: A diverse pipeline begins with investing in early-learning programs,” Dec. 31]. The link between sound education and growing wealth through future-facing employment is indisputable.
However, facilities and equipment and assistance programs alone cannot replace parental support, encouragement and assistance.
Tax-based and employer-supported early learning programs are indeed welcome. But parents need to reinforce the learning experience and place education as a focus in the household. Be it history, disinvestment, disillusionment, social system disparities or unconscious bias, too many lower income households (Black, Hispanic and white) do not hold education as a primary focus. Many poorer households focus on making ends meet month to month, thus the vision is shorter term, and as children near adulthood, the push and focus is to get a job first and continue education as you can.
Therefore, parental education must be part of the plan. Many parents do not have the resources, background and understanding that allows them to both actively participate and continuously push their children to learn and to excel. Great schools and great teachers cannot do this alone.